Category Archives: Historiography

Acquittal

On Tuesday 12 December, the prisoners were quickly removed from Ballarat to Melbourne under heavy escort, to await trial in the Supreme Court. [1] They held at the Melbourne Gaol, where the cramped conditions and harsh treatment were, if anything … Continue reading

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Preparing for trial

Anxiety was especially expressed about whether the uprising was caused by ‘foreigners’. It is never specified how or why these foreigners stirred up unrest, but it widely believed that they had been involved. Hotham was happy to subscribe to this; … Continue reading

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Women on the goldfields

As early as 1851, there were women who worked with their husbands searching for gold. There were about twenty women, for instance, at the Mount Alexander diggings in early November 1851.[1] By May 1852, a visitor to the diggings was … Continue reading

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From victory to defeat

News of the successful attack on the Stockade finally reached Melbourne in the early hours of Monday 4 December but it only partially relieved Hotham’s anxiety. The immediate danger may have been removed but it was possible that Eureka was … Continue reading

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Defending the Stockade

Heavy and continuous fire between the rebels and soldiers lasted for about ten minutes during which the men of the 40th wavered. At this point several of the men held in reserve, who appeared to think the attack had stalled, … Continue reading

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Deploying the troops

Around 2.30 am, Rede mobilised nearly 300 police and soldiers, more than double the number of miners left in the Stockade. There were 77 men of the 40th under Captain Wise and 65 men of the 12th Regiment under Captain … Continue reading

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A false dawn

Rumours were rife in Melbourne. The goldfield was said to be in rebel hands and people became uncomfortably aware that the diggers could form an army tens of thousands strong and be on their way to pillage their defenceless town. … Continue reading

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The Stockade

The precise function of the Stockade is also a matter of dispute. [1] The authorities clearly saw its construction and the swearing of oaths to a flag not of the sovereign country as dangerous acts of rebellion. Their view was … Continue reading

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The beginnings of rebellion

It is not fines, imprisonments, taxation and bayonets that is required to keep a people tranquil and content. It is attention to their wants and their just rights alone that will make the miners content. [1] Ballarat had not played … Continue reading

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Protest in 1853: the beginnings

At the beginning of 1853, a series of unconnected incidents when the police acted corruptly or over-zealously contributed to mounting bitterness. A petition from Korong in January protested against police perjury and brutality and a month later, La Trobe brought … Continue reading

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Policing lawlessness

Initially recruiting for the police was difficult. Wages bore no comparison to potential earnings on the diggings. Also, most possible police recruits were unreformed convicts, many lacking the honesty necessary for law enforcement. The diggers recognised ‘good’ authority when they … Continue reading

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Pre-famine Irish transportation: New South Wales

John Dunmore Lang noted that the Irish were sent almost exclusively to NSW. He went on to observe that no less than one-third of the total population of the colony of NSW in 1837 was composed of Irish Catholics, of … Continue reading

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Shaping a historiography: bringing separate stories together?

A string of recent publications with ‘Australia and New Zealand’ in their titles purport to bring the two countries’ historical experiences together, but continue to address shared issues separately and do not go far beyond the making of comparisons[1]. Bob … Continue reading

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Shaping a historiography: separate national stories

Australia and New Zealand ignore each other when telling their national stories. A research project at the University of Canterbury is seeking to address this problem by exploring the Australia-New Zealand relationship on multiple levels, political, intellectual, cultural, social and … Continue reading

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Shaping a historiography: a conservative reaction

The moment of optimism about reconciliation between white and black Australia that might be drawn from shaping a new history after Mabo was soon subdued by a revival of conflict and division, a situation exacerbated by the election of John … Continue reading

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